Saturday, April 4, 2009

Mario follow-up

Wow. The response to my Mario blanket has been simply overwhelming. Thank you all so much for your comments! I'm just jazzed that there are folks out there who think it's as cool as I did. :)

This is going to be kinda like a FAQ blog post from the many questions I've received either on here or on various message boards.

1. What pattern did you use? Is there a pattern available? Are there charts available? etc.

A: There is no pattern that I followed. I searched the internet for screen shots of SMB and then used them for the map I had in my head. There is no "master graph" for any of the panels, much less for the entire project.

ETA: I posted a video on YouTube and showed the master map for my blanket as well as 2 of the sprites I used AND a "graph" of one of the panels.  I know some folks *coughboingboingcough* were a little incredulous that I didn't have graphs for the project....now you'll see for yourself!

The most involved panel was the battle scene and is the only one I drew out. I have absolutely no intention of creating a graph of my entire work; however, there may be a time when I decide to make a graph of a panel or two.....dunno when/if that will happen, though. I'll definitely post here when I do. :)






2. What yarn did you use? How much yarn did you use?

A. I used mainly Red Heart Super Saver. There was at least one TLC Heathers (the brown in Mario) and Vanna's Choice (the cream in the bricks) and the skin is a peach Caron Simply Soft....but mainly RHSS. They had the best colors!!! And, considering the amount of yarn that went into this baby, it was the most economically prudent yarn to use. I've weighed it (without the border) and it weighs a little over 7 pounds and will be maybe 8 pounds with the border. I didn't want wool because it'd be too scratchy for a blanket and, again, acrylic is just a little more wallet friendly. :)

3. I didn't know crochet could make images like that. What kind of stitch did you use? What size hook?

A. The reason the images came out so crisp and accurate is because I used Tunisian crochet- the stitches are more or less square and there is no turning of the work so there is only the "right side" when you are working. I used a size "I" afghan hook. I just filmed a short video tutorial on how to do Tunisian crochet and will upload it this weekend. I think one of the things I'm most proud of is that I have gotten to show so many people that crochet isn't some old timer's way of passing time for just making doilies. It can be, and is indeed, ART. Going to start on a TP cozy tomorrow.... ;) HA!

ETA:  video can now be found on YouTube here.  

4. What does the back look like? Did you weave in the ends? Are you going to put a backing on it?

A. The back is not even close to being finished and looks like this:

back fringe

I'm definitely NOT weaving in all the ends- did you see that picture??? I'm going to tie them into square knots and trim them and then sew some sort of (light weight) material on as a back. Not quite sure how I'll do it, but I'm pretty good at figuring things out...

back ties

My hubby has offered to help me with all the tying....he knows how lucky he is!!!! Especially after reading some of the hilarious responses (and marriage proposals) I've received. :) Men seem to really appreciate this work. Wow- a crochet blanket a man actually wants made for him!

5. What are you going to do with the original panels? Are you going to sew them together or make pillows?

A. YES! I actually made this pillow a few weeks ago but didn't post it because I wanted to reveal all the panels (except for the 2 I teased with) as a whole.

mario pillow

I simply crocheted them together and stuffed with fiber fill. It's incredibly soft and has gotten a lot of use already! We just have to keep the cats' claws trimmed so as to not snag it.... This is the only pillow I'll be making from the Originals since these two panels were the only two that came out well, color change wise. Hubby has asked for other pillows, though, so I'll be making them later.

6. What are you going to do for a border?

A. From the beginning, I was debating between using either the brick pattern or the ground tile pattern for the border. I envisioned it like a picture frame around the blanket and either of those two work. However, after I finished all the panels and saw the monstrous size of this behemoth , I thought, "I'm going to be 120 before I finish this thing!" and was seriously considering just doing a plain black border just to be DONE. But, I didn't take the easy way out with this project and am not going to with the border, either, so I'll be starting it this weekend. That gives me a solid week of rest since finishing, which I seriously needed. :) Which one of the two border choices, though....I dunno. The bricks have only 2 colors, which makes for a (hopefully) quicker border; however, as someone pointed out, I don't have the ground tiles represented in my blanket. Sooo.....suggestions??

7. You must have so much patience to crochet for a year and a half on one project!

A. No- no patience...at all. I had a lot of fun planning it out- it literally came to me in a dream. I had to tweak it a little while I was making it, but for the most part, that first map I drew is what you see today. My husband is the one with the patience- he had to put up with a ghost of a wife while I worked on it. I didn't call it "my obsession" for nothing....I seriously felt like Isaac from "Heroes" (or any other "future painters") when he got an artistic impulse....my eyes glazed over and I worked and worked on it until it was done. Also, I crocheted the entire blanket in 2 months- not a year and a half. I started it a year and a half ago, but since I had to scrap all but one of my original panels, all of my crocheting was between February 1 and March 28.

8. Have you really only been crocheting for a year?

A. No- it's been a year and a half. ;) I had wanted to crochet and/or knit since I was a kid, but that seemed to be the only artsy/crafty thing my mom didn't do. My aunt did and I always wanted her to teach me, but something or other always happened and I never learned. So, mid summer 2007, I bought one of those "I Taught Myself Crochet" kits from WalMart and...well...taught myself how to crochet. I couldn't get the hang of holding the crochet hook "correctly" with my index finger in the air, so I watched some videos I found on youtube. I found someone who held it differently- I tried it and VOILA! It just clicked. This is why I've decided to put up crochet videos- hopefully my videos will help others like the ones I saw helped me.

I started on the blanket a few months later- fall 2007. The vast majority of my stuff (actually, everything I've posted on here) has been my own pattern- the purses, the scarves, the Mario blanket. I've made a few Round Ripple blankets (just realized I never posted about them...) but those may be the only things I've made with a pattern. I've always been creative, but I never knew I was "artistic" until I got that hook and yarn in my hands. Some people paint with acrylic paints....I paint with acrylic yarn!

9. What are you working on next?

A. Something small and not as involved... :) I have a couple of purses that are almost done- need to line at least 2. I have a few other projects swirling around in my brain, but nothing as big as this.....yet. ;)

10. If I marry you, will you make me a blanket like that? Will you marry me?

A. No.

11. Is the blanket for sale? How much is it?

A. Nope- it's for my husband. Very few people in the world could afford what we would even consider selling this for. However, if you do have the clams, I am definitely available for commission work. If not for something this huge, then for something half size (which will still be a good blanket size- about 6.5' x 5' with the border) or even something for a wall hanging (for which the Battle Scene would be great!). Same goes for my purses and scarves. My email is on my profile page- contact me and we can work something out. :)

I hope this has answered all the questions I've been getting. Until next time, Zoobaroos!

46 comments:

  1. As a kid my mother taught me to how to crochet. Now in my 60s I have been wanting to make something but have only seen stuff for women. Thanks for opening my eyes to the possibilities.

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  2. Wow. Just wow. You've been crocheting for a year and a half, and you can make something that phenomenal without a pattern. That is amazing. Congratulations, it's beautiful. I've been crocheting for about 10 years, since my early teens, and I am in awe of your skills. I'm looking forward to seeing some of your future projects!

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  3. Is that a Tunisian basic stitch or something fancier, like a tunisian knit stitch? It's a great piece, you did a phenomenal job!

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  4. Thank you all! Anonymous- It's comments like yours that really make my work worthwhile. I hope you have a lot of fun making whatever project your hook and yarn lead you to crochet! TexCub- it is indeed just a basic Tunisian crochet stitch. Amazing what just a plain, simple stitch can accomplish! :) Thank you all again!

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  5. Your work is fabulous, and you are very generous to share what you have learned. Thankyou for your work!
    From a crochet addict.

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  6. Very interesting post. I’ll be spending more time with certain areas. Well done and good luck with your work.

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  7. nice blog & very informative, i'm bookmarking this blog & visiting again for updates.

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  8. nice blog there, plenty of interesting topics. congratz!

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  9. I am so totally impressed! I ran across the picture, and my husband leaned over, drooling, "can you make me one of those?!?!!" he begged . . . . "maybe the pillow, dear", I said.
    I am totally inspired!

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  10. I would love if you wrote a pattern for this Im sure you would get a HUGE response that blanket is awesome! My hubby would love to have one just like it im sure!

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  11. For this blanket, what skills do you need to possess? How to do Tunisian crochet, color change, weaving? I just started learning how to crochet so for a beginner like me, what else would you suggest that I read up/practice on? Thanks!

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  12. As an artist (like yourself, but less motivated ;) ) I always have crochet ideas floating around in my head, and am always thinking of something new. Whenever I try to actually crochet the ideas, I always end up ruining it and it never looks like how I thought it would. Have any tips?

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  13. My husband will not leave me alone to make one. But I am not that good. God has blessed you with a talent that I could only hope for. This is awesome.

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  14. I'm completely amazed and know that my fiance would love something like this. Is there anyway for you to create a pattern. I know that I and many others would love to compensate you for your time and energy. What a wonderful creation!

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  15. I saw a pic of this on 'epic win FTW' and had to find out more... your blanket is incredible! I finally learned to crochet last year but got distracted by other craft projects - you've inspired me to pick up my hook again :)

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  16. I love your blanket and was told to come check it out by a friend of mine. I crochet as well and doubt I want to embark on a similar project it looks like so much work. Congratulations on your end result. I agree that nobody would pay what you think it is worth. I have the same problem.

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  17. I love this! I showed my husband this and told him I will NEVER make this. He said "Yes, you will!" LOL. I do not have the talent for this even though he thinks I do.

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  18. This is incredible! My 4 year old is recently obsessed with the new Super Mario Bros Wii, and he would love this! I am dying to make one, but I know I could never do it without a chart. You really, REALLY should make charts for this! You could make so much money selling PDF charts over and over. I know I would pay for it! PLEASE?!

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  19. Did you ever get the video on Tunisian crochet posted?

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  20. The video is now up! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbupvlYzq_U

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  21. Just out of this very INSANE world!! Like WAAAAYY OUT in orbit, mann.

    I do NOT know how you can possibly crochet with OUT a set pattern. You hardly mapped much of this out? Like, wow.

    I can't yet do too much crocheting without patterns. I will NEED a pattern to do an afghan of this magnitude.

    *cries*

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  22. I'm just now learning how to crochet--working on my first afghan for a friend right now, actually--and this is amazing. I couldn't imagine being able to make something like this in a year and a half from now xD

    A quick question I wanted to ask--you mentioned that you had had problems with changing colors, which I'm running into myself. Do you have any resources you used to figure out how to do it correctly, or after working on it long enough, did you just end up figuring out a method?

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  23. Oy, forget that. I thought your video was just on tunisian crochet. Now I see that it's on turning colors. xD Thanks for posting it!

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  24. I know you've heard it before, but this blanket is AWESOME. I saw a mario granny square blanket online somewhere, and decided I need to make him a simple sprite blanket (he asked for Chocobos). But after seeing your far more detailed one... I might have to teach myself tunisian crochet. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  25. I'm really impressed at all the work you put in the blanket and how well it turned out! Congratulations! I didn't know crochet could use different colors like that, and I'm definitely going to learn tunisian crochet... I already had the idea of a quilt with squares that have a different video game character in each, but knitting didn't satisfy me... so I'm really happy that I've found the medium to use!

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  26. Your husband is one lucky man. I'm a girl, and I would still LOVE to have this blanket. I think I might attempt some thing similar in the future. But, first...I have to learn to crochet.

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  27. i have been looking all over for a Nintendo blanket or Mario blanket for my brother for X mas He is currently deployed overseas :( It is impossible to even find a throw or fleece fabric to make one!

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  28. I learned tunisian crochet this afternoon and found your video when I was looking for color changing! I'm not going to do something like this, but I needed to tell you how much I loved it!

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  29. Hey Anon- your brother has the awesomest sibling- a Mario blanket is the best gift EVER! I'm hoping to finish the Granny Sqaure Mario blanket I started for my brother- the one that inspired me to make this big guy here. If you crochet, maybe you can crochet the granny square one, too?

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  30. Lila- thanks so much for stopping by and for the comment! I hope the video helps. :) When you do make your Tunisian project, could you let me know? I'd love to see it!!

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  31. I just wanted to say that your afghan you made is very beautiful! I wish I knew how to read graphs, I want to make a hello kitty graph afghan!

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  32. Thank you, Twinkle! While I don't have a video specifically for reading graphs, the video I made for Tunisian Crochet color work does show me crocheting using a graph....I hope that helps! I'd love to see a Hello Kitty Darth Vader graph- ha!

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  33. To Simone who just posted twice: if you read this, I wanted to reply to you via email- could you please send me an email at: gegecrochet@yahoo.com? Thank you!!

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  34. I've been mulling a 4-color portrait in this sort of technique but haven't done it because I don't like the look of this sort of thing in single crochet. I never saw Tunisian intarsia before. This is EXCELLENT, thank you for the tutorial!

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  35. Love the blanket!!! It has inspired me to make a large project of my own. Just wondering how many skeins did you use? This will help me figure out about how much I would need and how much money I would have to spend on my own project.

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  36. What will the difference be if I use an "H" hook instead of an "I"?

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  37. Hey Anon- The only difference is that your work may come out slightly smaller than mine. Granted, if you crochet loosely, it could be the same. Hope this helps!

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  38. Thank you! One more question, would you suggest me use an "H" or "J" hook?

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  39. Honestly, use whichever one with which you feel most comfortable. Personally, I'd prefer a J to a H for Tunisian work. It's too easy for me to go too tight so the larger hook works better for me. :)

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  40. Your work is amazing, and your color change tutorials changed my life! lol I've been crocheting since I was 7 (24 now) thanks to the patience of my grandmother. I was always a little afraid of Tunisian because I didn't realize how simple it really was! I have notebooks of graphs (not to mention about a million old cross stitch mags to double as graphs!) and I have been going like a mad woman since you inspired me! PS pretty sure my brother is getting a set of old school Zelda pillows!

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  41. im currently working on my own take of a mario obsession blanket and im having some trouble on how to sew my panels together i was curious how u put yours together

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  42. Okay, i noticed that in some of your panels you begin the chain with two different colors (like on the warp zone panel). I've been trying to figure out how to change colors in tunisian crochet on the foundation chain and I just can't figure it out! Or is that even how you did it? I understand all the other color changes, because I've watched your video about a thousand times! But I just can't figure out how you did the color work on that warp panel! Help, por favor? :)

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  43. Are you going to be selling your Mario blanket pattern? I would love to order it if you are.
    It's absolutely beautiful, there aren't enough words to describe it. I would love to do one for my son who is in university, he loved playing Super Mario when he was small.
    Thank you for sharing your pics with us.

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  44. This is very awesome and thanks for sharing very gifted you are , Please claim ownership of the pattern so no one takes it and sells it elsewhere i would love to have one like this for my son and hes 27 he really loves it we grew or he did with mario also nothing comes close to this to buy God Bless.

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  45. I was recently watching a YouTube video on how to change colors while doing the Tuisian stitch, I came across your video as well. I watched you video and when I found out that you were doing a Mario blanket I turned the volume up and started looking over your Blog. I have to say that as a fellow self taught crochter I am impressed with your work. For the past few months I have been working on a Granny Square Mario blanket for my son, and when I saw your blanket I thought how awesome it was and how much my son would love it as we. I have read that you don't intend to make a graph pattern for this blanket, but I would gladly pay for the pattern if you ever decided to make one. Again wonder blanket and I would love to a copy of the pattern.

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